FSC to begin learning process on genetic engineering in forestry outside of FSC-certified area, aiming to gain knowledge that will contribute to informed decision making; it stresses that genetic engineering remains unacceptable in FSC-certified forests

Sample article from our Forestry & Timberland

BONN, Germany , February 8, 2022 (press release) –

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) will begin phase one of a proposed two-phase multi-year learning process on genetic engineering (GE) in forestry outside of FSC-certified area.


The aim of the FSC GE learning process will be for FSC and its members to gain sufficient and trusted knowledge on developments in genetic engineering in forestry.

FSC intends to use this knowledge to determine whether it could develop a governance model ensuring rigorous safeguarding, risk management and shared value creation for genetic engineering in forestry in non-FSC certified area. The learnings would also be used to update existing policies and enable informed decision making for FSC and its members on topics related to developments in genetic engineering in forestry in the future.

The GE learning process is planned to take place in two phases. Phase one will commence in February 2022 with the establishment of a panel of experts to develop a draft participation framework which will set the conditions for participation in the subsequent proposed multi-year learning project.

At the end of 2022, a decision will be made on whether to proceed with phase two (multi-year learning project) with interested FSC certificate holders and research institutions as participants.

The learning process does not imply any change in the FSC Principles and Criteria, nor in the FSC Policy for Association (PfA). Genetic engineering remains unacceptable in FSC-certified forests and is only allowed in the PfA as a research project. This learning process will take place within the boundaries of the PfA and activities can be stopped if the participation framework criteria are not met.

If you would like to learn more about the FSC GE Learning Process, please visit here or reach out to us on engagement@fsc.org

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